USDA to Offer New Insurance Option for Conservation-Minded Corn Farmers Who ‘Split-Apply’ Nitrogen

WASHINGTON, September 2, 2021 – Corn farmers who “split apply” nitrogen will soon have another option for insurance coverage. Beginning in crop year 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) will offer the Post Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE) in certain states for non-irrigated corn, providing coverage for producers who use this practice that is considered better for natural resources and saves money for producers.

To “split-apply” nitrogen, growers make multiple fertilizer applications during the growing season rather than providing all of the crop’s nitrogen requirements with a single treatment before or during planting. The PACE will provide payments for the projected yield lost when producers are unable to apply the in-season nitrogen application.

“USDA is committed to building insurance options that encourage use of practices that are better for the environment and for producers’ bottom lines,” said RMA Acting Administrator Richard Flournoy. “We are able to offer the PACE thanks to the cooperation of our partners, including the Illinois Corn Growers Association, National Corn Growers Association, Ag-Analytics Technology Company and Meridian Institute.”

“Split application” of nitrogen can lead to lower input costs as well as helps prevent runoff or leaching of nutrients into waterways and groundwater. This is because it is used in more targeted amounts over multiple applications, rather than one large application.

This new crop insurance option builds upon RMA’s efforts to encourage use of conservation practices, including cover crops. For example, RMA recently provided premium support for producers who planted cover crops to help offset impacts from the pandemic. Meanwhile, RMA recently updated policy to allow producers with crop insurance to hay, graze or chop cover crops at any time and still receive 100% of the prevented planting payment. This policy change supports use of cover crops, which can help producers build resilience to drought.

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board approved the PACE recently, and RMA will share additional details later this year. The sales closing date for the endorsement will be the same as the producer’s underlying corn policy.

More Information

RMA staff are working with AIPs and other customers by phone, mail and electronically to support crop insurance coverage for producers. Farmers with crop insurance questions or needs should contact their insurance agents about conducting business remotely (by telephone or email). More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at rma.usda.gov.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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